SEL Focus: Cultivating kindness

Third Nine-Weeks Focus: Social Awareness/Empathy

In Dr. Leonard’s 2018-2019 Convocation address to EISD staff and subsequent communication with families, he stressed the importance of creating a safe learning environment for all children - an environment that fosters respecting all, caring for each other, communicating in a civil manner, and listening well while always being kind. Cultivating kindness is part of becoming socially aware and of learning to be empathetic.

According to the research from Making Caring Common, Harvard Graduate School of Education, children often feel their parents care more about academic achievement than being kind. In Sonja Lyubormirsky’s research, she found “that kindness is a path to happiness”. One way to teach our children the importance of kindness is to teach empathy. Talk to children “about why people do what they do”. Understanding another person’s motive can increase empathy. It is our responsibility as parents and educators to teach our children that kindness matters.

Teaching children to understand another person’s point of view may help them understand and exhibit empathy. As empathy grows, our children will learn to appreciate our differences as gifts.

Reference: US News article Teaching Kids to Be Kind